President’s Perspective: Time to Engage

I believe we can accomplish more together than we can apart. I’ve always believed this, and I think I always will. I grew up learning all about how we as South Carolina Baptists accomplish incredible feats through cooperative missions and ministries, and how we funded those endeavors through the Cooperative Program.

My dad, Horace Sims, served as convention president when I was 9 years old. I spent my childhood summers at Camp McCall and Camp Marietta, where we met missionaries and learned about “Bold Mission Thrust” and our efforts to take the gospel to the nations. I went to the same schools as the children of Connie Maxwell Children’s Home. Some of them were my best friends.

In my college years, I learned firsthand about the importance of campus ministry. I answered the call to full-time ministry while serving on a ministry team at North Greenville College (now University). I preached God’s Word in about 40 of our churches before I left North Greenville.

I served for six months in Boston, working with the Home Mission Board. Later, I would serve in Laurens and have an opportunity to work alongside the staff of Martha Franks Retirement Community and develop a rich appreciation for that tender ministry.

Since those times, I have developed an even greater appreciation for South Carolina Baptists. Our three universities are among the best private, Christian universities in the nation. We have some of the best pastors you can find anywhere.

Today, we are an incredibly diverse group of believers in every imaginable way. There is diversity in the way we dress, the places where we worship, the ways we worship, and the ways that we think about a variety of things. We have around 2,000 churches and well over 2,500 varieties of South Carolina Baptists!

With all of that being said, the need for cooperation is greater today than it has ever been before. We live in a growing state where the only thing growing at a higher rate than the population is the percentage of lostness in our midst. Our country is deeply divided, and hate seems to be the “in” thing. The nations are in turmoil economically, politically and spiritually. And the need for us to stand together, and be the light we’ve been called to be, is not negotiable.

That’s the reason I’m calling South Carolina Baptists to “ENGAGE” our common calling and cooperative heritage and work together to accomplish the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ. In spite of the aforementioned differences in our fellowship today, we have much more in common. South Carolina Baptists worship the same God and serve the same Savior. We believe that the same book — the Holy Bible — is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. And we have the same mandate to be His witnesses to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the world.

We cannot accomplish this on our own. It’s time to “ENGAGE” each other and the work of the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Will you join us as we seek to see every life saturated and transformed by the hope of the gospel?